Deodhar Trophy: Prabhsimran, Rana script North’s win over Central

Nitish Rana’s all-round show with bat and ball backed up Prabhsimran Singh’s hundred in North Zone’s win over Central Zone.

Published : Jul 26, 2023 18:33 IST , PUDUCHERRY - 3 MINS READ

North Zone batter Prabhsimran Singh en route to a century against Central Zone in a Deodhar Trophy 2023 match.
North Zone batter Prabhsimran Singh en route to a century against Central Zone in a Deodhar Trophy 2023 match. | Photo Credit: THE HINDU

North Zone batter Prabhsimran Singh en route to a century against Central Zone in a Deodhar Trophy 2023 match. | Photo Credit: THE HINDU


Prabhsimran Singh’s pristine hundred (121 off 107 balls) and Nitish Rana’s four for 48 set up North Zone’s 48-run win over Central Zone in a second-round Deodhar Trophy match at the Cricket Association of Puducherry (CAP) Ground 2 here on Wednesday.  

Rana struck twice in four balls to break the spine of Central’s line-up after it looked like it would make a fist of the 308-run chase, cruising as it was at 197 for three in 35 overs.  

But Rana had other plans. After catching Yash Dubey (78, 92b, 10x4) leg-before, he sent Rinku Singh packing for a golden duck by inducing a leading edge to the cover-fielder off a delivery that stopped on the batter. In utter disbelief, the left-hander trudged back as a pall of gloom descended over the Central dugout and the handful of fans who had gathered to witness the miracle-man in action.  

READ | Deodhar Trophy: Mayank, Sai Kishore shine as South Zone beats West Zone

Coming to the crease with his side needing 111 to win in less than 15 overs, Central skipper Venkatesh Iyer struggled to put bat to ball, repeatedly slashing hard outside off to no avail, for a stuttering 28-ball 11.  

Earlier, Shivam Chaudhary (51, 60b, 5x4, 1x6) and Dubey compiled a 99-run stand for the second wicket in quick time. Their fifties were contrasting in appearance but not substance. While Chaudhary extended his long levers, Dubey was a delight for purists, punching through the off-side and pushing the fuller deliveries to the fence. 

Upendra Yadav impressed with a 55-ball 52, frustrating spinners by cutting the ball late and beating short third to find the boundary on a number of occasions. It took a stunning diving catch by Vivrant Sharma at midwicket to dismiss him, following which Central’s batting caved.  

Earlier, after being inserted, North Zone openers Abhishek Sharma and Prabhsimran ensured the pacers had little to rejoice despite overcast conditions in the morning. The first run they ran for came only in the seventh over, but they collected the odd boundary to notch up 44 in the first 10 overs.  

Venkatesh brought himself on and tasted success off his third delivery when Abhishek edged behind poking outside off. But Prabhsimran forced Venkatesh out of the attack a couple of overs later as he gently dabbed the ball to the third-man boundary for two fours and pulled with authority for a six in a 14-run over.  

When Karn Sharma replaced Venkatesh, Prabhsimran got into position early and swept the leg-spinner for a four and then punched him down the ground for another to reach his 51-ball 50. The 22-year-old added 87 runs for the second wicket with Himanshu Rana, who contributed 24 largely owing to two fours off the outside edge before middling a drive straight to the extra-cover fielder.  

Prabhsimran had the stomach for a fight. After Yash Thakur sent down a bouncer, the batter from Punjab stepped out and slapped a four through covers before charging at Venkatesh and launching him inside out for a six to move into the nineties. He went into overdrive after reaching his hundred off 92 balls, sweeping and pulling left-arm spinner Aditya Sarvate for back-to-back fours and punishing Aniket Choudhary and Shivam Mavi’s overpitched deliveries with wrists of steel.  

Eventually, an aberrant heave wide outside off was Prabhsimran’s undoing but that didn’t allow Central any breathing room. Skipper Rana, who had struggled to time the ball at the other end in their 67-run alliance, cut loose after his departure, sweeping and cutting Karn and acing a ramp shot off Thakur, whose tame short-ball ploy fell well short of success.  

Rana’s run out (51 off 50 balls) precipitated a collapse as North lost five wickets for 43 runs and could only muster 66 in the last 10 overs, which was eventually enough.  

North Zone 307/8 in 50 overs (Prabhsimran Singh 121, Nitish Rana 51, Mandeep Singh 43) bt. Central Zone 259 in 47.4 overs (Shivam Chaudhary 51, Yash Dubey 78, Upendra Yadav 52; Nitish Rana 4/48, Mayank Yadav 3/47). Toss: Central.
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